Spiritual Poems – Why Read Them?

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What makes spiritual poems different from other spiritual writings? Poetry has a way of pointing more directly at reality, rather than just defining it. It uses words as tools for the transmission of experience. Spiritual poetry then, is more about enlightenment than belief. Here is a classic example from the Tao Te Ching:

Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.
If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.

When you realize where you came from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.

Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.

The Christian Bible is full of spiritual poems. Consider this short passage from the poetry found in Corinthians:

When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a...

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